Killing Our Fellow Humans

killing_our_fellow_humans

Three Guys At The Café

G1: “You’re sayin’ it’s America’s fault?”

G2: “Sure. Who uses the most stuff that ends up in the atmosphere?”

G1: “What about China?”

G3: “Yeah, they beat the Americans by a billion miles!”

G2: “But America’s tryin’ to spread its life-style all over the world—tryin’ to make everybody into gross consumers.”

G3: “But China’s makin’ the most babies…”

{A Gal Walks Up… }

Gal: “Whachu guys talkin’ ’bout?”

G1: “Who’s puttin’ the most shit in the atmosphere.”

Gal: “That’s easy, it’s the rich guys in power.”

G2: “But which  rich guys?”

Gal: “Don’t matter what country, if they got the power they’re gonna trash things for the rest of us…”

~~~~~~~~~

That imaginary scene certainly isn’t deep or precise or particularly wise, but one thing’s for sure—those in power aren’t doing anywhere near enough to save our human family from critical disaster.

And, It’s not China or the Americans; it’s the people in power in those countries. The rest of us, all over the world, are reaping the dark fallout from their lack of wisdom.

“So, Alex, you seem to be saying the rich/powerful leaders are killing humanity?”

Pretty much, yes.

A case in point:

From SciDev.Net: Sea level rise ‘will surpass worst-case scenario’ “A sea level rise of one metre or more is predicted to have a devastating effect on major coastal cities, island states and populous delta areas such as those in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

“A panel of experts speaking yesterday (10 March) at the International Scientific Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, warned that without efforts to curb the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise would expose most parts of the world to greater storm surges — increases in local sea level caused by the winds of storms — threatening lives and infrastructure.”

I can imagine one of those guys in the café saying: “So a bunch of poor beggars get a little wet, so what?”

Sorry guy, it’s not just a bunch of poor beggars getting a little wet; it’s millions of our fellow humans suffering and dying because a certain class of humans are addicted to a life-style that harms Mother Nature and makes Her lash out in pain and rage.

I may be attacked for saying this, but the attitude that unlimited freedom leads to prosperity has been clearly proven to be false. The affluent bubble has needles of crisis poking it all over…

From the Climate Change Policy Advisor at Oxfam : Sea level rise spells increased likelihood of disaster for the world’s poorest people “These startling new predictions on sea level rise spell disaster for millions of the world’s poorest people. Poor coastal communities in countries such as Bangladesh are already struggling to cope with a changing climate and it can only get worse. This must be a wake-up call for rich countries are not doing anywhere near enough to prevent these cataclysmic predictions becoming a reality. Rich countries, who created the climate crisis, must cut their emissions from 1990 levels by at least 40 percent by 2020 and provide the $50 billion that is the minimum needed each year to help the world’s poorest people adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.”
famly-roof
Your home may not look like the one in that image but if the kind of home it is makes you not care what’s happening to the people who live there, you need to examine your conscience, make it face reality, and find some form of compassion for the struggling and innocent members of our Human Family…

Spiritual Quote:

“He must not consider divergence of races nor difference of nationalities; he must not view variation in denomination and creed, nor should he take into account the differing degrees of thoughts; nay, rather, he should look upon all as mankind and realize that all must become united and agreed. He must recognize all as one family, one race, one native land; he must see all as the servants of one God, dwelling beneath the shelter of His mercy.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

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We All Have Rights, unless . . .

rightsPeople just love to shout about their personal “rights”. Groups love to petition about “our  rights”. Organizations love to write official papers about “human rights”.

So, why do so many people not have their rights respected?

And, which rights are Right ?

Not to mention, who decides what rights belong to which people?

Take a moment to consider these recent news clips:

From OneWorld.Net: Anger in Kosovo as UN ‘Muzzles’ Democracy Leader

From Times Online, UK: Call for access to education for all members of the Iranian Baha’i community

From GlobalVoices: “08 Charter” (blueprint for the democracy prospect in China) Signers Arrested and Questioned by Police

From Bahá’í World News Service: Faith groups sign human rights statement

Some people effectively have no  rights…

Some people spend almost all their time screaming about having their rights trampled on…

Some folks stay calm, put up with those who trample on their rights, and continue to work, quietly but effectively, to ensure the rights of all the members of our human family…

I have no “point” to make in this post; just want to stir things up.

So, I’ll urge you to let yourself be stirred up by 12-year-old Severn Suzuki speaking at the UN Earth Summit in 1992:

Spiritual Quote :

“Ultimately…the emergence of a peaceful and just social order animated by moral principle is contingent upon a fundamental redefinition of all human relationships—among individuals themselves, between human society and the natural world, between the individual and the community, and between individual citizens and their governing institutions. In particular, outmoded notions of power and authority need to be recast. A basic reconceptualization of social reality is thus envisioned, a reality that in spirit and practice reflects the principle of the oneness of humankind. To accept that ‘the body of humankind is one and indivisible’ is to recognize that every human being is ‘born into the world as a trust of the whole’.”
Bahá’í International Community, 2001 May 28-31, Overcoming Corruption in Public Institutions

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Financial Strain

debtThose posts on the United Nations are still in the works but another Internet friend shared a song with me today and, in light of the global financial situation, I want to share it with you.

First, let me share the lyrics she uses:

“Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words, #52

I want to hazard an interpretation but be aware, when distilling the meaning of holy text, the ultimate interpretation comes from your  heart…

Rejoice not if prosperity blossoms because it can swiftly pass away.

Grieve not if you slip into abasement because you can swiftly rise.

Basically, to me, the words convey a need to remain detached from material circumstances; certainly, we need to pay attention and work toward our goals but we also, to remain spiritually whole, need to keep our hearts beating far above the twists and turns of mundane happenings…

The song is by Elika Mahony. Here’s a clip from her bio: “Vocalist, composer, pianist, and artist, Elika considers herself a world citizen; her parents are from Iran, she was born in the US, raised in Kenya, and now lives in China. Elika’s love of music began when she was a child growing up in Africa. In between she has lived in Israel and Hong Kong. Her music beautifully expresses the diverse cultures that have been a part of her upbringing, blending and reflecting the influences of this varied background, drawing upon classical Western structures but incorporating instrumentation and styles from Iran to Ireland and China to Spain.”

Enjoy her angelic vocal rendition of Bahá’u’lláh’s Words:

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How Do You Feed A Whole World ?


Quite often, the global drama strikes me as a group of children fighting over who gets to go first. Actually, I’ve been feeling a bit adolescent lately so it’s not much of a stretch to see the world’s leaders as misbehaving children.

From the International Herald Tribune: Negotiators acknowledge World Trade Organization process needs to change

From the New York Times: After 7 Years, Talks Collapse on World Trade

From the New York Times/World Business: China’s Shift on Food Was Key to Trade Impasse

From Reuters: EU points at U.S. for WTO collapse

From The WIP: How to Solve the Food Crisis: Cut trade barriers and start a Green Revolution in Africa, says Jeffrey Sachs
“The only silver lining in this (crisis) is – I even hate the idea of using that – is that it has made more people aware of the things that can be done, like the green revolution. I am not a believer in waiting for crises to get things done. I think it’s an absolutely ridiculous part of our character, but when we do have the crisis, at least it’s true that there is more discussion about agriculture the last months than there was in eight years!”

Hundreds of people, seemingly knowledgable in their field, sit down over a seven-year period and can’t come to an agreement; even though people are starving, and banks are tottering, and simple, sincere people (the world over) are losing hope . . .

What’s missing?

One thing that needs to be adjusted in the equation is to strike out the terms referring to Third World. Far as I can figure out, we have one world.

Next, terms need to be incorporated so the job of production becomes integrated globally—not the “us”/”them” situation we have. This will free enormous creative resources for solving our other crises.

“Economic development strategies employed by the United Nations, the World Bank and a number of governments during the last fifty years, however sincerely conceived and executed, have fallen far short of aspirations. In much of the world, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has widened and is accelerating with the persistent disparity in income levels. Social problems have not subsided. In fact, crime and disease are not just on the rise; they are also becoming endemic and more difficult to combat.

“These failures can be traced to a number of factors. They include a misplaced focus on large-scale projects and bureaucratic over-centralization, unjust terms of international trade, a pervasive corruption that has been allowed to flourish throughout the system, the exclusion of women from the decision-making processes at all levels, a general inability to ensure that resources reach the poor, and the diversion of development resources into military hardware.

“A dispassionate examination of these factors betrays a common systematic and fundamental flaw in the current paradigm for economic development: material needs are often addressed without taking into account the spiritual factors and their motivating power….

“Because of the spiritually damaging nature of dependency, schemes which focus solely on redistributing material wealth are doomed to failure in the long run. Distribution of wealth must be approached in an efficient and equitable manner. In fact, it must be intimately integrated with the process of wealth creation.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Oct, Turning Point For All Nations

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Can Youth Save Our World ?


Today I want to honor the youth of the world by introducing a youth from China.

From OneWorld and Mercy Corps: The World’s Youngest Principal – 17-year-old Zhang Yong
“Before the earthquake, he was a student at one of the schools here in Jin Hua. That changed immediately in the disaster’s aftermath: he was asked by displaced families to help create a temporary school. He gathered 15 volunteers, 13-17 years old, to get started.”
“‘Our goal is to keep these kids safe and on a routine, so they don’t forget their studies or what life was like before the earthquake.’ Zhang Yong said.”
“We’re proud to work with determined, energetic individuals like Zhang Yong — local leaders who are full of resolve to not only rebuild, but also care for their communities when it’s needed most.”

What were you doing to help your fellow humans when you were 17?

I was trying to figure out the difference between my minister father and God and that challenge made everything else a total confusion.

When did it dawn on you that helping others is one of the most spiritual things you can do?

It took me over 60 years to get the idea from my head to my heart.

Can you imagine adolescents doing things that most folk think are just for adults?

I can because I’ve known a few.

How do you think youth can be helped best to understand the world?

How do you think adults can be educated to accept the power and creativity of youth?

“A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain:
The image of YOUTH.
Thus the superior man fosters his character
By thoroughness in all that he does.

“A spring succeeds in flowing on and escapes stagnation by filling up all the hollow places in its path. In the same way character is developed by thoroughness that skips nothing but, like water, gradually and steadily fills up all gaps and so flows onward.”
I Ching

“The cause of universal education deserves the utmost support, for no nation can achieve success unless education is accorded all its citizens. Such an education should promote the consciousness of both the oneness of humanity and the integral connection between humankind and the world of nature. By nurturing a sense of world citizenship, education can prepare the youth of the world for the organic changes in the structure of society which the principle of oneness implies.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1992 June 06, Earth Charter

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